Category Archives: Random
When I left my house yesterday to go to an appointment, I had no idea that the hour and a half would present itself with two very fun things.
The first occurred on my way to the appointment. As a traveled down the highway, I looked over and saw a shark.
I don’t often see that kind of thing while driving down the highway, but for the rest of my drive I had the JAWS theme in my head and kept flashing back to the “I’m a SHAAARK!” meme.
The second fun thing was that while I was in the waiting room, I struck up a conversation with a woman named Isabella. Isabella was an absolute character, one of those people that you would love to talk to all day long because within 15 minutes we’d become best friends. Here’s what I learned about Ms. Isabella:
- She’d lost her husband about 8 years ago
- Her husband was in construction, and had worked on the Twin Towers as well as many other famous buildings all over the US
- She had worked as a seamstress for several TV series, specifically Dallas
- Most of the stars were very nice people and she was always happy to help them… Except Victoria Principal, who was a total snoot, so whenever Ms. Principal asked her for alterations, Ms. Isabella put her at the back of the line
- She speaks at least three languages and is of Italian decent
- When she asked what my background was, I mentioned my father being born in France, and my grandmother being from Belgium. She then asked me if I spoke French, I fumbled through my best “Je ne parle Francais” which made us giggle, and made me want to pick up lessons again
- She’s traveled all over the world and when I asked her what her favorite city was, she mentioned several, including Brussels, but seemed to be very infatuated with Paris
- She does not visit spas very often, but we completely agree that DePasquale’s is the best around here
I love these kinds of encounters, it just totally made my day
I’m far behind in my upkeep with the blog, so many things I want to do but I am finding less and less time to do it in. When I write these posts, I do try to put in a lot of effort to make them entertaining AND informative (rather than just entertaining because I can’t form a coherent sentence), and will sometimes spend HOURS putting a post together. I’m not finding those blocks readily available, and starting one and going back to it really breaks up my trains of thought.
I have a review of the Eau Good Water Bottle from Black + Blum (spoiler alert: I freakin’ love this thing and am using it right now), movie reviews of Warm Bodies and Video Game High School, a review of the BodyRock/DailyHiit 30 day challenge (although I will need to complete it to give the best review of it, link goes to a fan’s site where they put everything in order better than on dailyhiit.com).
Oh dear, it’s already nearly noon, which means I am already behind schedule for the day. Keep an eye out for the reviews, I will get them up as soon as I can!
This does not mean it was the top of my list, but I don’t recall how many other movies I watched so much that I also owned the book. Sadly (or awesomely) the photos of the book I am using here are from the SECOND copy I received from my mother back in 2003, because my first copy had been read so many times, the cover was long gone and the spine cracked so badly that the book actually was in two pieces and missing most of the photo pages from the middle.
From the start this story appealed to me in SO many ways. The underdogs going on a great adventure with pirates and treasure maps and skeletons and killers and monsters that like Baby Ruths and weren’t really monsters and Sean Astin being so freaking adorable. Really, there was no way this could be anything but awesome.
So you have a ragtag bunch of kids who are looking at being shoved out of their neighborhood to make way for the country club golf course. Mikey is the protagonist here, along with his close friends Mouth (Corey “no the OTHER Corey” Feldman), Chunk (Jeff “Truffle Shuffle” Cohen), and Data (Jonathan “Short Round” Ke Quan). Mikey’s older brother Brand (Josh “even hotter when I got older” Brolin), Andy (Kerri “I’m a redhead but they made me kind of blonde in this one” Green) the popular cheerleader, and Stef (Martha “always the go-to actress for the gangly, slightly surly sidekick” Plimpton), Andy’s friend round out the rest of the kids on this adventure.
But wait, the cast doesn’t stop with these awesome child actors! The first scene introduces you to the Fratellis, a family of criminals:
Look closely enough and you’ll see Robert “oh THAT guy” Davi, Joe “oh that OTHER guy” Pantoliano, and Anne “evil grandmother figure” Ramsey. This cast could not be beat.
As a side note, one of the reasons I liked about the book over the movie was the extra scenes they didn’t have time to fit in the movie. For instance, did you know there was an octopus in the water around the pirate ship?
How an octopus of that size would survive in a fairly cut off cavern is obviously puzzling, but WHO CARES!?! IT’S A GIANT OCTOPUS!
So yeah, this movie had everything when I was 11 years old – great cast, fantastic story, excitement, adventure, love, comedy, drama, bad guys, good guys and everything in between. And Cyndi Lauper providing the theme song. What more could you possibly want?
I give this a 5 out of 5 Octopii (since the poor thing had his scene cut and all, seems fair to me).
It has been made abundantly clear that should there be a zombie apocalypse, I will likely become a zombie within about 3 days. If not, it will be by pure accident, or by the sheer will and determination of others to keep me human.
I know this, because I just spent the last week dealing with Hurricane Sandy.
At around 6:35pm Monday, while trying to finish up a rather minor quest in Star Wars:The Old Republic, everything went dark. I knew it would happen, so I wasn’t surprised. I fumbled around looking for the flashlights and candles I’d smartly left on the kitchen table, and settled in. My husband, who heads the water department for the neighboring town, had been working very late trying to prepare, so I was alone with the my faithful companions – a big black cat with one fang, a small white cat that loves to climb onto the counter and get into bread, and a dopey dog that despite my preference for cats has attached himself to me more than any other member of the household. Though towns had issued warnings that power could be out for a week, I don’t recall being without power for more than a day or so, and assumed it would be back on rather quickly.
You see, I live in northern New Jersey. I am extremely lucky in that my part of New Jersey is rather far from the shore, and located in a rather hilly area where the worst we had to deal with were downed trees that took out power lines. We were even luckier that on our street, the downed trees appeared to miss houses altogether and fall in the best possible ways they could. Check out the scene I found outside my door the next morning:
These are two shots of the same tree from both sides, and this tree was located on the far corner of my neighbor’s property on the right side of my home. The trunk had to be at least two feet in diameter, but all it did was rip up a corner of a wooden fence and pull down some electrical and cable lines.
Here’s a few more fallen trees that came down to the left of my home, two houses down:
As I walked around the neighborhood, it was almost eerie how trees that fell did so little damage to houses. Perhaps a shed got smooshed, or a fence got taken out, but all in all people were thankful for the lack of issues.
Again, I wasn’t terribly concerned. I kept the fridge closed to maintain the cold and used my cell phone as little as possible, grateful that my husband had left his Chevy Avalanche for me (the cigarette lighter allows for recharging without requiring the vehicle to be started). Texted with friends and family to check in – everyone was fine but without power. Ended up at my neighbor’s house for company and ideas on what to do next.
Again, I was lucky in that someone allowed me to tap into a generator – all I wanted was to keep my fridge cold so I didn’t lose the food. My neighbor got a generator from her family once they got power back, and I brought food from my freezer over in payment for letting me keep warm and drink hot coffee. News was difficult to get because no one had internet or cable, and public radio all just described the devastation by the shore… heartbreaking, of course, but it would have been helpful to run down town centers where people could gather (charge up cell phones here, or get bottled water there).
My husband – who went through Hurricane Katrina and the two weeks without power afterwards – warned me that the first 24-36 hours after losing power, everyone eats great! They eat all the food that will spoil, and it’s like a big campout, but shortly after that, people will begin to stress out. Looting and violence becomes a concern. I told my neighbor she should chain down her generator, just in case.
Glad I did, too. There was a town utility truck with a generator in the back that was tasked with keeping the sewer pumping station going, and a couple of great DPW guys would roll by every few hours to top off the tank. In the middle of the second night, two men tried to take off with it and the gas cans left for it. Bastards.
We got power back about 51 hours after we lost it, luckily we didn’t need to take more drastic measures. Suddenly things were getting normal again. But then they backslid. Not everyone had power, and the lack of gasoline became a concern. I had been severely restricting the use of the Avalanche – it’s a gas hog anyway, but I didn’t REALLY need to go anywhere. I work from my home, and even though I didn’t have power, I was still without internet and cable, so my ability to work was completely hamstrung.
I had friends over who were still without heat and power so they could warm up and bathe in hot water, and another friend is camped out in our spare room with her pup since her town has no idea when power will be restored.
The whole time, I’m thinking “I’m cool, this is fine, we’re fine, nothing bad’s happened.” and I pat myself on the back for being so darn awesome in a crisis! I can totally handle this! Maybe I WON’T die in a zombie apocalypse!
Today, we got internet and cable back, six days after it went poof. My family is all reporting that they have power back or are staying with people who have it, friends are all in similar situations.
But as the days go by and things are getting better, I realize I am becoming increasingly stressed out and less capable of making any plans or moving forward. Somewhat simple tasks become huge roadblocks, to the point where I need to literally take a chill pill. Of course that wasn’t very effective at getting me to plan better, but it stopped the frenetic pacing and wringing of hands.
So yeah, I can kid myself and think I’ll be awesome in a crisis, when really… THIS:
I’m so sorry that I have been absent for so long. Apparently my creative juices just decided to come to a complete stop, an I lost momentum. Several times I would see something, or read something and think “hey, I could post that on…nahhhh, nevermind.” I absolutely hate when that happens, but until something jumpstarts my mojo again, I guess I just have to slog through it.
So a few weeks back I tried to slip on one of my favorite pair of jeans, and *surprise surprise* I felt like I was trying to stuff sausage back into the casing. Like so many other people today, I have struggled with my weight for many years. Sometimes I’m up high, sometimes I am mid-ranged, but I haven’t been a decent weight for my height and bone structure since high school. Creeping depressingly up near my high point again, I decided enough was enough and I got the jumpstart I needed.
After researching, reading, and speaking to several people, I decided to not only re-join Weight Watchers but also include jogging into my regimen. Weight Watchers has worked very well for me in the past, but something typically derails me, I get upset and depressed, and suddenly I’m off the program. Workouts usually go through the same cycle, only much faster… I get excited about exercising, I do it for about 2-3 weeks, then I throw my back out (my notorious weak spot). And not just throw it out for a day or two, I am talking more than a week that ends when I finally get tired of crying in pain and go to the hospital for a shot and some percocets just to stop the pain cycle. By the time I feel ok enough to start exercising again, I’ve lost the excitement and momentum, and that’s the end of that.
This time, however, has been wonderfully different. After acquiring a good pair of running sneakers, I have been jogging at least every other day. Well, to be perfectly honest, it’s more like a walk with a lot of jogging stuck in there. I can’t do much distance, but I do go for longer stints each time I go.
At this point, I am considering introducing some workouts that are part of interval training – 50 seconds of workout, 10 seconds of rest, 3 or four different moves. I’m a little nervous about it, considering my back issues, so I definitely need to take it slow. Finger’s crossed though, I am looking forward to being healthier!
Hey everyone! Sorry I took a little hiatus there, was busy with general life stuff, a trip down south, blah blah.
In the interim, I was pointed to a new application that works on my Galaxy Note called Waze. It’s a user-generated real time traffic report, which is really cool. There’s a few extra little features, and while the software is not perfect, with user input it gets increasingly accurate. Check it out:
Let me start by saying I am not an expert financial wizard, nor is my business raking in billions of dollars that I can toss on my bed and swim in. I am, however, co-owner of a women-owned small business that began with very humble start-up money, at the worst time economically to START a business, that has consistently grown each year. So how is it that we have done so well?
1. Initially, focus your products or services.
Too often I have heard of businesses faltering, or worse, going under completely because they stretched themselves too thin trying to cast a wider net. When we began Wellspring Trading, we knew it would focus on massage therapy products because that was our main background. We offered both one-time purchases (reselling massage tables and chairs) as well as consumables (100% natural massage oils). But we started getting feedback from our customers…
2. Listen to your customers.
The feedback and inquiries we got indicated that not only were massage therapists coming to us, but non-therapists who wanted natural products. We found that many customers absolutely loved our golden jojoba oil for a hair shine, and our fractionated coconut oil for very dry skin. Once we realized the potential to introduce people looking for high-quality, all-natural, non-chemical alternatives to use, we expanded our customer base. Additionally, we’ve now expanded the products we sell to meet the needs of customers who had trouble finding those products elsewhere.
3. Excellent customer service is ESSENTIAL.
Set yourself apart from the MegaCorporations with teams of operators who know little about the products or services they offer. From the beginning, we promised ourselves that the highest quality customer service would be one of the most important aspects of our business, and we’ve kept that promise. In speaking with a customer about a massage table, I refuse to sell them the most expensive just for the sake of making the sale. I listen to their wants and needs, and offer the best suggestions I can. My goal is to make the customer completely satisfied with their purchase, which means less hassle for everyone later on. It’s also my personal goal to ship products that come from our warehouse within 24 hours, and our customers go out of their way to let us know how much they appreciate that. Lastly, always try to talk to a customer with a smile on your face – they can hear it through the phone!
4. Know your strengths AND weaknesses.
If you know you won’t be able to handle an aspect of your new business, don’t just try to ignore it – find a partner or hire an individual to handle it for you. I am great with customer service and shipping, but anything to do with finances or micro-details makes my eyes glaze over. My business partner, Marcia, on the other hand, has a background in accounting and is extremely detail-oriented, so we make a perfect team.
5. Look for ways to save money everywhere you can.
Setting up a business presence on sites like Facebook is free and easy for your friends and family to help spread the word. We do our business online only, which saves the overhead costs of leasing a brick-and-mortar storefront. We offer the convenience of a low flat rate shipping, and go with the least expensive shipping methods we can. Before adding a new product in to our line, we research it thoroughly. We also re-visit our suppliers’ prices regularly to make sure we are getting the highest quality products for the money.
Hopefully this give you potential small business owners something to think about as you consider your new venture. The last piece of advice I can give is to truly believe it what you offer – customers will get excited when you speak from genuine knowledge and happiness. It makes all the difference!
Purchasing a massage table can be a very daunting experience for people, regardless if they are professional therapists looking to replace one or non-professionals who want something to work on their friends and family. There are SO many brands, models and options out there, it’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed.
As a distributor as well as a trained massage therapist, I feel it’s my duty to help people find the table they will love – that fits their practice AND budget. I am more than happy to answer questions, and if I don’t know the answers, I’m even happier to research the answers for them. There is nothing like getting that call from someone I helped telling me how much they absolutely LOVE their table package!
If you’re in the market for a massage table, there are several questions you’ll want to ask yourself before making your final decision.
Am I an in-home user or a professional user?
There are many tables on the market, but often they are built for different usage. Are you planning on having 2 or 3 people a week get on and off your table? Then a low-cost, in-home table will work well for you. Are you planning on working on 20-30 people a week? Then a professional table is highly recommended.
One thing to remember: it’s best to avoid the super-cheap massage tables from warehouse stores. Time and time again I would hear of massage students who have limited budgets opting for these only to realize their mistake within months. Most of those tables are made overseas, so there is no company in the US to handle problems, and the quality tends to be very low so not only will the table feel wobbly (or will after a short amount of time), but it may also end up squeaking. The LAST thing you want if for your clients, whether they are paying for a professional massage or it’s your significant other, to feel unsafe, uncomfortable or irritated no matter what kind of deal you got.
If you decide you are an in-home user looking for a good quality table and a lower price, there are several available. Many people find the Oakworks One and the Inner Strength Element packages good table packages to consider. Both companies have corporate offices in the US and their products are backed by warranties.
Will I be traveling to clients or staying in one place most of the time?
The next question to ask yourself is how often you believe you will be moving your table. Will you be packing it up after each client and going to the next one or will it be positioned in a massage room and moved infrequently? The weight of a portable massage table can greatly affect a therapist, and hauling it from one place to another can take its toll. For mobile therapists, it’s best to consider lightweight tables, such at the Oakworks Wellspring, Earthlite Spirit LT or even the super-light Pisces New Wave II Lite. Lightweight tables are often a little more expensive than other tables, because the engineering that goes into them is a testament to the materials that maintain strength and durability.
For a more stationary table, therapists have a broader range to choose from. Table options also come into play more.
How do I choose what options are best for me?
Many tables start with the table itself and allow you to add packages or individual upgrades to truly customize it to your liking. Here are some of the main options you will be considering…
HEADREST: Most companies offer standard headrests and adjustable headrests, often with cushion upgrade options. I find that our customers overwhelmingly prefer adjustable headrests for the simple fact that tilting the headrests down slightly makes it much easier to access the back of the head, the neck and the shoulders. Cushion upgrades are usually a memory foam (similar to the popular memory mattresses), and Oakworks offers a very comfortable Boiance upgrade (I purchased it with my massage chair and I love it!).
PADDING: The padding options on tables can range from firm to extra plush. Will you be working on athletes? Then lean towards more firm padding, so your clients do not sink in when you are working on them. Are you inclined to give more luxurious, relaxing massages? Then consider upgrading to more plush padding – there is nothing like the pampering feeling of settling into a plushly padded table. Not sure where your career is headed just yet? Then compromise with a padding somewhere in the middle.
TABLE WIDTH: Most standard tables are 29″-31″, though there are a few that are much more narrow or much wider. I have had customers agonize over the choice of 29″ or 31″, so what I tell them to consider is their own height. If the therapist is more petite, and especially if they plan to take the table to clients, it’s best to go with a more narrow table. However, if the therapist is taller, or if the table will likely remain stationary, clients will usually feel more comfortable on the 31″.
UPHOLSTERY COLOR: This is also where I see many customer get stuck. Some want their table to match the room decor, some want one they will believe to be less likely to show stains, and others just want the color they are most drawn to. The good news is that a lot of times it never matters what color the table is, because it will be covered by sheets and a face rest cover by the time your clients see it! I always tell people to get whatever color they like most.
BOLSTERS: One optional accessory I ALWAYS recommend is a bolster. Bolsters are most often used under the knees when the client is laying on their back, or under the ankles when the client is laying on their stomach and they really make a huge difference. Most bolsters have a semi-firm padding inside that offers support and comfort but will not lose shape over time. If nothing else, a 6″ round bolster is perfect to start with.
How quickly can I have my new table in my hands?
Tables are often made to order, and crafting them takes time. Some customers believe that even the biggest manufacturers MUST have a warehouse that has tables ready to ship immediately, but most of the time that simply isn’t possible. Having just gone over the options above, there could be 3 styles of headrests, 5 different paddings, 3 different widths, and 25 upholstery colors – 3x5x3x25 = 1,125 tables! And that’s just ONE table… manufacturers can offer 5-10 different models. Typically, tables from Oakworks or Earthlite can be built and shipped within 1-2 weeks, depending on their production schedule. Don’t worry, the wait it worth it!
Why do massage tables cost so much?
Sometimes even professional therapists can be surprised by the final cost once they decide on options and upgrades. But keep in mind that by performing only 5 massages a week for a year, purchasing a $390.00 table will cost you only $1.50 per massage. A hair stylist doesn’t use cheap scissors to cut hair, and a chef doesn’t use cheap knives to prepare dishes. This will be your tool, so don’t be afraid to get exactly what you need. A high quality table is often very easy to maintain and can last a LIFETIME.
I hope this has been informative and helpful! As always, please let me know if you have any questions! ENJOY!